Archive for the 'ALA' Category

Comments: Slight (automated) change in policy–and an ALA note

Posted in ALA, Writing and blogging on November 11th, 2007

For a while now, I’ve turned off comments for posts more than a year old–the hard way, going in and editing each comment, a month at a time. A nuisance, but it cuts the amount of spam even further, particularly the “meaningful spam” (most of which is something along the lines of

I’m not sure I understand everything you say about [title of post is automatically inserted here], but I’ll have to read more about it.

Or something along those lines. The purpose of the spam is, presumably, to increase the visibility or PageRank of the URL the commenter provides. There are variations, of course, but the message is typically innocuous and sounds as though someone could have said it–except that I use a lot of post titles that really don’t make sense as part of that sentence. This kind of spam is almost always attached to old messages, where I’m presumably paying less attention. (Spam Karma 2 actually catches it pretty much all the time–but that means more spam for me to check, to rescue legitimate comments.)

Somebody–Jessamyn West? Somebody else–recently noted a newish WordPress plugin, comment-timeout, that does this automatically at whatever interval I choose. Getting a little braver (and with better SFTP tools at home), I actually downloaded, uploaded, and activated this one on my own, instead of asking Blake Carver to do it. (Taking off the training wheels? Maybe. At least this time.) The plugin has some nice nuances: You can set it so that ongoing discussions don’t get trapped at the timeout mark and so that popular discussions (you set the level of popularity) can go on even longer.

Looking at the reality of comments around here, particularly comments from my core audience, I’ve set it up like this, subject to change down the road:

  • For most posts, commenting gets turned off six months (actually 180 days) after the post. If you look at the May 2007 archives right now, you’ll see that: You can comment on some posts but not others.
  • For posts with ongoing discussions, commenting can extend 60 days after the most recent approved comment.
  • For posts with more than 20 comments (the default measure for “popular” and certainly a solid count for any liblog post), commenting can extend 90 days after the most recent approved comment.

Coincidence that I had to clear more spam today (before installing the plugin) than I’ve had any day in more than a week? Who knows?

Oh, then there’s another frequently-occurring spam text–one where I really wonder what universe the spammers operate in. The text refers to my “awesome guest book.” I don’t have a guest book. I can’t think of a single blog that I read that does have a guest book. At least “awesome blogroll” would have some faint hope of success–not here, but elsewhere.


The ALA note (hmm, I grumped about ALA interactive services a year ago–for much the same reason):I got the email asking me to renew my personal membership online. Logged in (the password sent in the email–password sent in gmail, which is a really stupid idea, ALA–was wrong, but that was OK: I know my ALA password). Got to the “category of member” page…and thought about it. Hmm. I’m not salaried (the new part-time position is a contract position). I’m semi-retired. I’m not really a librarian. Should I be paying $180? ($120 ALA, $60 LITA) I needed more info, so clicked on the appropriate link.

Which goes to a list of division memberships. Not to the page that explains the rules for different categories of ALA personal membership. Indeed, using the site’s search function

Stop laughing. Site search functions do work in some cases.

I was unable to find a page that defined “non-salaried librarian.”

I was about to choose that $42 category–well, actually, I did, but hadn’t checked out yet.

I mentioned it to my wife. She’s fully retired now, but was in a similar “unsalaried, but still doing some work” situation for 2007. (Of course, she is a degreed librarian.) She said something about “I think you have to earn less than X.” X being somewhat less than my contract and other library-related earnings should total next year.

So I canceled the transaction. Today, I went in via a different route and found the appropriate page–not by searching, to be sure. Indeed there is a limit of X for “non-salaried.”

I still have a mild quandary. My new position isn’t managerial as usually defined: Nobody reports to me. It doesn’t require an MLS or state certification. Come to think of it, that’s been true of my work for close to a decade…

Does that mean I’m library support staff and can get by for $42 instead of $120?

I’ll probably pay the $180 for 2008. Oh, and check my preferences again to see where ALA will send various emails this time around.

I discussed this with appropriate people at ALA and will act accordingly.

Next-Generation Library Catalogs (LTR): Mini-review

Posted in ALA, Libraries on October 15th, 2007

ALA TechSource occasionally sends me copies of Library Technology Reports in the hope I’ll mention them here or in Cites & Insights. (I wrote an LTR issue a couple of years back.)

The July/August 2007 issue is Next-Generation Library Catalogs by Marshall Breeding. It’s short, even by LTR standards: 42 pages plus two blank pages for notes. It’s also well done, offering a fair amount of information on a range of newer catalog interfaces in a readable manner.

Unfortunately, it could be considerably more useful, if it was 53 or 54 pages instead of 42 pages. How so? Because most of the 25 figures, screen shots from catalog interfaces, are simply too small to be effective.

Twentyone of the 25 figures are full or nearly full screen shots. They’re reproduced one column wide (on a two-column page) and roughly one-third of a page high. And most of them are too small.

The screen shots should have been reproduced using the full width of the text area, which means they’d also be two-thirds of a page high. Yes, they’d be a little on the large side–but they’d also be gloriously easy to make sense of, instead of requiring a magnifying glass in some cases.

For 21 figures, making them 2/3 of a page instead of 1/6 of a page adds 10.5 pages total (half a page per figure). The way chapters break, it might turn out to add 12 pages instead of 11–but that would still be well within LTR’s normal range.

It’s a good report. (Is it worth the price? That’s not for me to say.) It’s too bad the layout people didn’t spot the problem and make it an even better report.

ALA-related musings, job situation, etc.

Posted in ALA on July 2nd, 2007

Good things about going to ALA Annual this year (partial):

  • Another chance to see people I only see twice a year–and a few I’ve never met face-to-face before.
  • Some good conversations about possible personal futures. (Nothing solid yet; there’s one big contracting situation that I think would be a real win_win situation, but no decision’s been made yet. As a result, I’m still open to contacts and offers.)
  • Much better weather than expected–in DC, that is.
  • The exhibits felt a little more varied and interesting than in some other cases (and better attended).
  • The distances were such that this was mostly a walking conference for me (during the day, I’ll typically prefer walking for up to 1.5 miles), which is always a good thing.
  • Great LISHost dinner, great OCLC Bloggers Salon, I was very pleased with LITA TopTechTrends, the other program I attended (!), on orphan works, was first-rate.
  • My earlier decision not to base essays or commentary on “second-hand conference reporting” was confirmed by reading reports on my own TopTechTrends comments: Some big differences between what I believe I said and the spins put on it by various writers.

Not-so-good things about going to ALA Annual this year:

  • Missing six days of Blenheim apricots at the peak of ripeness: Our tree yielded a large number of small (unfortunately) apricots, nearly all of which were ready to pick during the same week. My wife gave away scores of them, and based on what I’m eating now, I could have had six or eight a day of the kind of fruit that inspires passionate writing; Blenheims are simply magnificent.
  • Missing six days of being at home, my wife, our cats, writing, etc…but that’s a direct tradeoff with getting (back) in touch with lots of other people.
  • The prices, especially for breakfast and a glass of wine here and there…
  • Having to spend time thinking about my personal future in terms of income rather than in terms of possibilities for extracurricular stuff.
  • The journey back home (already discussed), although it clearly wasn’t as bad as some others endured. Still, it took me until Saturday to fully recover from the process.

Next up: Philly in January. All my Pennsylvania friends assure me that the frigid conditions last time around were an aberration. I’m not sure. Will I be there? That depends in part on how things go with the search for a personal future…

For those who care, I think all I have to say about the job situation appears here. I hope the one “majority of time” contracting possibility works out; it’s one where I think I’d bring a lot to the work–and it’s work with a group I respect. But it’s just not feasible to stop looking elsewhere, given the uncertain nature of when (and whether) a decision will be made… Otherwise, some interesting discussions about piecemeal possibilities–training, teaching, and exploring the kinds of things I’m good at and that are in demand.

As for my Twitter experiment: That’s already been covered. I’m still being “friended” by new people. But, account or no account, I’m just not there.

Why I’m no longer Twittering

Posted in ALA, Technology and software on June 30th, 2007

These comments apply only to my own situation. For you, Twitter may be wonderful.

Some of you have already figured out that I’m sort of an introvert, with a wide circle of friends and acquaintances but not too many that I strive to keep up with on a minute-by-minute (or week-by-week) basis. That I enjoy getting together with people at ALA (and occasionally other conferences) but don’t go to great pains to make that happen–and am perfectly comfortable dining by myself.

I’m clearly not the world’s greatest social-network participant, by personality or preference. I probably still have an Orkut account and haven’t been back in more than a year. I probably have a Second Life avatar and have no idea what my name or password are. I dropped out of Ning (Library 2.0 and library bloggers) because it just didn’t work for me–I wasn’t able or willing to spend the time there, and its slowness and confused interface didn’t help a lot.

Or at least I think I dropped out of Ning. I haven’t been back to check; for all I know, I may still have a page there. More about that in a bit.

Twitter? In general, I can’t imagine why anyone would care what I’m doing at any given time. But…well, the use of Twitter to get together during a conference seemed at least plausible. And, breaking with my long tradition of traveling entirely without technology, I’d picked up a cheap text-oriented cell phone (with what may be the world’s smallest QWERTY keyboard) on a Virgin Mobile pay-as-you-go basis, with a $10/1,000 text message package…if only so I could contact people I was talking to about future contract or job possibilities. So I thought I’d sign up for Twitter just to see if it would be helpful during ALA. And, after using it (Web-based) a few days prior, cut back “friends” (I’m getting to hate that overused word for people I’ve never met and never really talked to, but who feel some vague connection) to those who I thought would be at ALA.

I didn’t keep the phone on all the time–I just can’t deal with that level of connectedness–but I made a point of checking it at least every hour or two, and did send out Twitters when I was going to be in one place for a while.

My conclusion? For me, for this equipment and service plan, for this type of conference, it’s a flat-out failure. Here’s why:

  • One or two of the dozen “friends” was, shall we say, Twitter-happy, with what seemed like an endless flood of little messages. I’m seeing that elsewhere; in one case, where a liblogger is having twitters posted as blog posts, I’m about ready to unsubscribe.
  • I don’t know whether it’s Twitter, Virgin Mobile, or the way I was using it, but I got messages in big clumps, sometimes a day or more after they’d been sent. For a while, it appeared that I wouldn’t get any messages until I sent one; I’m still not sure what was actually happening. In any case, this made the tool useless as a “gathering” system: Knowing where someone was yesterday is not real helpful.
  • Maybe it’s different at a small or very specialized conference, but there just weren’t any instances in which my “friends” and I had any reason to meet up that Twitter helped with. A lot of that may be because I don’t have that circle of people I want to get together with as often as possible.

The cell phone itself proved useful primarily because of my little 36-hour travel problem (which, after reading Michael Golrick’s ordeal, I realize was only a little problem): It was nice to be able to keep my wife informed without coping with a cell phone, and I even called the airline once or twice to help things along. Naturally, the phone started losing charge halfway through the adventure…

So I came back and immediately set my Twitter account to “web only.” Recharged the phone. Didn’t use it on Thursday. Canceled our Cingular account (which we’d already planned to do). When my wife wanted minimal instructions on the Kyocera/Virgin Mobile phone (we now have two sick cats instead of one, and we’re still not sure what’s going on with the younger one), as soon as I turned it on I started getting a flood of Twitter messages…even though I’d cleared it after resetting the account. I think all the messages were from late Tuesday and the first half of Wednesday; I’m not sure, since I was just deleting them. (For some reason, the phone’s “erase all messages” feature doesn’t actually do anything. I think they’re taking lessons from the social software people.)

Again: for you it may be brilliant. For me it’s the wrong medium, either on the web or on the go–and the last thing I want is various hunks of text that aren’t even real messages from real people!

So here’s the coda, at least for now: I logged on to Twitter, said I wanted to erase my account, went through the “Are you sure?” step, clicked on the appropriate button…

and was taken back to my home page.

Did the process again. Signed out. Was able to sign back in and there’s the same#*!@% home page again.

Sent a help message, basically saying “Is there any way to actually leave Twitter?” We’ll see what response I get.

And this morning, checking email, there’s another new “friend” on Twitter–friending an account that should not even be there.

This seems to be typical of (some) social software applications, and certainly helps them claim very large usage numbers. It’s the Hotel California syndrome–you can check out any time you like, but you can never really leave. I think it stinks; I’m tempted to sue a five-letter word beginning with “f” and ending with “d,” but I won’t for the moment.

If you’re a Twitterer who doesn’t read this blog and you’ve “friended” or “followed” me–well, here’s why you’re not getting any reciprocity. I’m not really there and don’t intend to return. Don’t be insulted. (In any case, why on earth would you be friending me on Twitter if you don’t read my blog?)

If you’re one who does want to follow me both places, I won’t be there; I will be here. (Assuming sick cats, job issues, etc. don’t completely take over my life, which isn’t an entirely safe assumption.)

This post probably makes me sound antisocial. Sorry about that. Fact is, we each have different levels of tolerance for interruption and need for connectedness. I find email, blogs, face-to-face conversations and (for now) Meebo rooms to be connecting at my level. I found Twitter to be enormously distracting and not at all useful, for me, in these circumstances.

First post-ALA post (or “Why C&I 7.8 will be delayed slightly”)

Posted in ALA, Travel on June 27th, 2007

I discussed the lead essay in the forthcoming July 2007 Cites & Insights with some of you during ALA, noting that the issue was basically written, just needed a little more trimming and editing, and would probably come out the day after I got back from DC–which, presumably, would be today.

I still hope to publish the issue the day after I get back from DC. But that turns out to be tomorrow. After decades of luck in avoiding snowin during Midwinter, my luck ran out (at least a little bit) with a different sort of weather problem. To wit, I got to San Jose International Airport today at about 1 p.m. PDT–roughly 33.5 hours after leaving the Grand Hyatt in Washington to catch a shuttle to Dulles. I expected to get home around 3 p.m. Tuesday; instead, I got home around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

I’m sure some of you have experienced worse–heck, you may even be experiencing worse as I write this. My brief chronology:

  • 6:20 a.m. Tuesday 6/26: Shuttle to Dulles, reaching airport at around 7 a.m.
  • 9:30 a.m.: American flight to DFW takes off a few minutes early, gets in right on time (11:35 a.m.)
  • 12:25 p.m.: I’m at the gate where the American 12:55 p.m. flight to San Jose is supposed to be loading–but it’s now scheduled for departure at something like 1:45 p.m.
  • 2 p.m.: The plane (100% full) pulls back from the gate and gets in line for takeoff.
  • 3 p.m.: Given rain, progress has been slow, but this flight is now the first in line for westbound takeoff. And westbound takeoffs are shut down. We pull onto a midfield taxiway.
  • 6 p.m.: We return to the gate; after four hours of running the plane generators, there’s not enough fuel.
  • Everybody on the plane is told to go back out to the ticket counters to rebook. After various attempts at standby or rebooking, I run out of options…along with several hundred others. (The only San Jose flight later than 11:20 a.m. to go out at all is the 3:15 p.m. flight–which departs at around 9:45 p.m., and probably incurred a penalty for violating San Jose’s noise curfew.)
  • Even in the first class/Gold/Platinum frequent flyer line–or maybe particularly there–it’s VERY slow going to try to get Wednesday standby or new confirmed seats (everybody’s told that everything’s sold out until Thursday or maybe Friday; this turns out to be either false or intermittently true), and I finally wind up with a baroque confirmed booking (flying to Orange County and from there to San Jose, leaving midafternoon when storms are likely to be troublesome and not getting in until 7:30 p.m.) and a standby boarding pass for the first SJC flight out (7:55 a.m.)
  • At this point, getting a hotel room makes very little sense: Everything near the airport is sold out, and the only deals I can find are $200 to $250 plus a $20-$25 30-minute shuttle ride each way. Since it’s now 1 a.m. and I’d obviously need to be back at the airport by 6:30 or so to be there for possible 7:55 a.m. takeoff, that figures to be $300 for about 3 hours of sleep and a shower. Not worth it. So, along with a few hundred others, I head back through security (before it shuts down at 1:30-2 a.m.) to sleep inside the airport (there’s really no place to even sit outside the security area, at least in the American complex). I believe some 600 people couldn’t get standby passes before the ticketing shut down at 1 a.m., and were stuck either going to a hotel or making the best of the outside facilities.
  • American did at least one thing right: They invested in a few hundred lightweight foldable cots, so people could do something better than lie on the floor–and they made several hundred blankets available. With such comfort, I probably got an easy 60-90 minutes of something resembling sleep.
  • Based on weather forecasts, we were hearing the worst–it might be even worse today and continuing until Sunday. I figured that if the 3:25 flight didn’t get out, I’d give up at that point, get a hotel room, and try for Thursday…
  • Fortunately, American’s standby-rollover algorithms are pretty clean (placement is almost entirely based on when your original flight was scheduled to take off). I wind up #15 on standby for the 7:55 a.m. flight–and get real hopeful when they’ve gotten to #11 and I see that 12-14 all have the same last name. Turns out there’s exactly one seat left–but the parents of the teen in the family decide to send him ahead.
  • Next flight 10 a.m. This time, I’m #8. Then #9. Then, glory be, #4. The flight’s delayed (but mostly preboarding, then a little because of catering), but I get on, the weather seems to be holding at overcast–and at 11:15 (I think) we pull back. As promised, once we’re past the Sangre de Cristo mountains, it’s a pretty smooth ride (and the $5 turkey/shaved parmesan/turkey ham/lettuce wrap isn’t half bad, actually).

So there it is: My 24 hours (almost precisely) at DFW. Right now, I’m running nearly on empty, with no real deep sleep for a day and a half. This could clearly have been a lot worse. OK, so they didn’t feed us (except first class) or give us free drinks during the four hours, but the lights and air conditioning were on, the johns were functioning, and it was clearly a legitimate weather problem, not an airline issue. (They did provide water or orange juice after a couple of hours.) Four hours isn’t seven; some people spent two days getting through DFW, not just one.

Odd. My wife suggested that maybe I was getting too old for the outbound flights–American Eagle to LAX midafternoon on Thursday, June 22, followed by the red-eye from LAX to Dulles, But even in coach, I did get 2-3 hours reasonably decent sleep on that flight–and Grand Hyatt gave me my room at 6:15 when I got to the hotel, so I could crash for a few more hours. This was my first experience “sleeping” in an airport; I hope it will be my last. Maybe I am getting too old for that sort of nonsense. Maybe not.

So, maybe I’ll have C&I ready tomorrow. Maybe Friday. Maybe not. I think it’s a good issue, with a section on copyright, a Library Access to Scholarship piece, another chunk of Making it Work, a couple of other features–and a lead essay that I’ve already mentioned to a few people. Soon.

I may post later about why Twitter-during-conference really didn’t work for me, for ALA. I might post about other things…

Meanwhile, a little thought experiment (“picture in your mind’s eye”) that may say something about the underwhelming success of a revolutionary mode of transport.

Picture in your mind’s eye half a dozen really cool people. Let’s say Halle Berry, Will Smith, George Clooney, Angelina Jolie, Bruce Willis–I don’t know. Choose your own.

Line them up. What a spectacle of coolness!

Now put them all on Segways and get them moving.

What do you have? Dorks on Parade.

At least most of the security guards at the DC Convention Center didn’t have the “I love this Segway because it means I don’t use up any of those doughnut calories” look I’ve seen in some other cases of “official Segway” use–but still…

And that’s it for a highly unofficial and inconsequential ALA post that at least says why I’m a little slow with some other things. If the above is a little less coherent than usual, you can guess why.

Twitter?

Posted in ALA, Technology and software on June 11th, 2007

Suppressing the “bah humbugs” for now…

Since I picked up a text-oriented cell phone in time for ALA (but it will mostly be off, and only people I’ve arranged to meet with will get the number), and

Since I said in COAP2 that “I think Twitter was made for conferences” even if you’re not the kind who would normally be twittering up a storm (see pages 4 & 5), well, then, to follow my own advice…

I have a Twitter account. waltcrawford: What did you expect? I have notifications set to web-only, but I’ll turn them back to phone notifications before I leave for ALA Annual. If you think you’ll want to know where I’m likely to be, or want to set up a meeting, maybe you want to follow me (I barely understand this stuff–heck, I got the reply and all that for phone verification, but the verification screen still shows up). I guess you’re supposed to invite me as a friend if you think I should be tracking your activities there–is that right?

And if you do want to meet (for job offers or whatever), let me know. I do plan to check the phone periodically, even if I’m still too “disconnected” by nature to leave it on all the time. And that teeny little QWERTY keyboard isn’t wonderful, but it works OK with one finger. (Too small for thumbing–I wasn’t about to pay for a Blackberry-equivalent.) Send me email–waltcrawford at gmail.com.

Actually, I think the fastest way to “follow” me involves “waltcrawford1″ as a user ID. Again, I’m not entirely sure…

Update: I believe that if you have a Twitter account, sending the message follow WALTCRAWFORD1 (case may or may not matter) will add you to my list. I will send at least one message in the next few days, if only to make sure that my phone really does send them properly.

Update 2, a day later: This is mysterious stuff, and I’m beginning to think that’s par for free web services. Yesterday afternoon (Tuesday), I decided that I really should send one Twitter from my cell phone to make sure that the setup work had all gone properly–even though I had gotten a text reply (well, two of them) that suggested all was well.

Sent the message. Checked Twitter 5 minutes, then half an hour later. No message. Retried the setup confirmation again. Tried a message. No message… Did this a couple of times.

Finally clicked on the “Delete and start over” button. Entered my cell # in slightly different form–even though the responses had been, apparently, correct with the other form. (Prepended”+1″ this time; it’s just not clear whether U.S. users need that.) Texted the (new) authentication string again.

Two things happened differently: The reply from Twitter did not ask me for a nickname/username, and the (new) authentication string disappeared from the setup screen.

Well, that looks promising, sez I. So I text one more Twitter from the cell phone. Ten seconds later, there it is on my home page (and presumably on the pages of seven followers and that person who is apparently a Follower for every Twitter account).

Great! I’m set. Wasted a buck or so worth of messages, but that’s OK. (Actually, I went ahead and signed up for the $10/1000 message “per month” plan for ALA, and will drop back to the nickel-a-piece messaging in July. I can’t imagine getting and receiving anywhere close to 1,000 messages during the conference, but can conceivably imagine hitting 200+. Or 10, as the case may be.)

Here’s where it gets a little bizarre: A few minutes later, checked my archive–and there were all the other messages, including the repeated verification string. And a while later, the “friends” screen showed all those other messages as well.

Conclusions? None, really. My apologies to the seven people getting six or eight odd messages. For now, I’m “add”ing anyone who follows me–but I’ll turn off some of them (temporarily) before I switch from Web-only to Phone for notifications, based on whether I think it likely that they’ll be at ALA.

Enough blather about twitter.

Maybe I just had the wrong video

Posted in ALA, Libraries, Media, Movies and TV, Writing and blogging on February 8th, 2007

Two posts back, I did a semi-random semi-blind (I just wrote “semi-bland,” and that’s true too) post lamenting my inability to “get” the greatness that so many other libloggers were seeing in a five-minute video.

Which I deliberately didn’t link to, as I didn’t feel the need to give it yet more link love.

Since then, three things have happened:

  1. Lots more libloggers (and others) have acclaimed the video in question. I’m clearly in the minority on this one.
  2. The semi-blind post, which I expected to be ignored as all good blind posts should be, yielded a really wonderful set of comments–one of which did include the link (which is OK), and a couple of which yielded plausible reasons why I don’t get this particular video.
  3. The eminent David Rothman–this David Rothman, that is–linked to this five-minute video. (I’m new at this video linking stuff. If that doesn’t work, here’s Rothman’s post with the video embedded..

This one I get. I was just watching the wrong video.

A little Friday afternoon posting

Posted in ALA, Writing and blogging on February 2nd, 2007

For some reason, I happened to be perusing past posts at the Other AL and ran across a comment cluster connected to the OCLC Bloggers Salon [one o, not two!] at Midwinter. You’ll find it down the page, right around here. Open the comments.

Now, having been at the Bloggers Salon (hey, there’s photographic evidence), I would comment:

  • What would possibly lead AL to believe that AL’s presence at the Salon would be frowned upon? Don’t say “politics”–I heard precious few political discussions, and most libloggers don’t let politics dominate their posts. AL falls into that “most” category, near as I can tell.
  • How would we know if AL was there, since AL’s been exceptionally good at pseudonymity?

Others who were there might respond to part of that first bullet by noting that I might not have heard most of what was being said. For a few minutes after the Laugh Heard ‘Round the World, I couldn’t hear anything out of the nearest ear…and the noise level in general, up until 10 pmish, was pretty ferocious.

A good time was had by all, or at least all I’m aware of. No fisticuffs. No stark confrontations (that I could hear). Given the competition (offering more free food and more scenic surroundings) Saturday night, a pretty good crowd.

Steam

Posted in ALA, Books and publishing, Writing and blogging on February 1st, 2007

Running out of, that is. At least as far as non-reflexive posts hereabouts is concerned.

It’s been two weeks since the last post that wasn’t either about Cites & Insights or Walt at Random. I guess this post doesn’t break that fast. (Today? Nature Valley apple cinnamon crunch bars, half a toasted multigrain bagel, calcium-enriched “lots of pulp” Tropicana orange juice, Kauai coffee [Trader Joe's]. Why do you ask?)

Why? Partly Midwinter. (In case there’s anyone out there who didn’t figure this out already, all but one word of Cites & Insights 7:2 was written and edited before Midwinter, and that word was actually a number.) I don’t blog during a conference (“I travel without technology”–didn’t even take my portable CD player this time around) and didn’t have all that much to say when I got back.

Partly job-related. Partly a cold (no sympathy desired: it just slowed me down for a few days and resulted in two half-days at home sleeping). Partly writing some stuff for C&I 7:3. Partly that, depending on various eventualities, some of the things I might be posting about might turn into other kinds of output, possibly at work. [Parse that sentence and win the right to say you're a better grammarian than I am.]

And a whole bunch writing draft chapters for an increasingly-probable book. Twelve down, three to go.

Thanks for all the kind words on the two rough-draft chapters some of you have read, even though you didn’t know they were rough-draft chapters when you read them.

In other words, I just haven’t had sufficiently interesting randomness to note here.

Hmm. Exactly two months to the two-year anniversary. Will I 500 posts or two years first? At this rate, probably the latter.

ALA email

Posted in ALA, Technology and software on November 3rd, 2006

I know this email stuff is awfully advanced technology, but:

I got email to renew my membership today. At my work email address — well, actually at my old work email address, which is apparently one of several aliases for my current work email address (crawforw@oclc.org, if you’re wondering, although the business cards have the formal alias Walt_Crawford@oclc.org).

So I click on the link (still not happy about LITA’s $60 or thrilled about ALA’s $110, but not ready to quit just yet either). And find that the password autoprovided isn’t the password I currently use. Fine; I click on the appropriate button and ALA emails my password.

To my gmail address. Which, now that I think about it, is what I told ALA I want to use for email.

So, fine, I log in and renew–it’s a strange cumbersome set of links, first to this page then back to that page then over to another page, but not too difficult–and it all finishes by saying it will email confirmation.

Which it does. To my old work email address.

Now that I think about it, I also changed my postal mail preferences to get stuff at home. So, of course, it’s still arriving at work. Except for the things that arrive at home.

I’m all for diversity–but maybe not in actually executing the preference changes that you invite people to do. Is proliferating an email address driven off a single membership number really that difficult? Is that what ALA needs the extra bucks for?


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